2020 Global Art Competition

062 Karen, age 10, Liberia

I attend the Light International School System in Liberia, and I am currently in sixth grade. My ambition is to be a Medical doctor and lawyer to fight against the ills and destructive effects of diabetes that trouble many including me today.

My life with diabetes is unbearable and challenging. However, I won’t be deterred until my dream to defeat the terrors of diabetes is achieved. In September 2018, one week before the opening of my school and more sadly three weeks to the death of my dear father, September 30, 2018. I started to experience fever that Friday night. My mom advised me to drink more water, which I did. The next morning, she took me to the SOS Clinic. The doctor said that I have tonsillitis and I also need to do a lab. Finding nothing, he suggested that I should do another lab for malaria which was also negative. He gave me two bags of glucose drip and requested me to come back later. When I went for the appointment, I was unfortunately diagnosed with diabetes. I had 6+ glucose and 8+ ketones and sugar level was 554 mg/dl.

How is diabetes treating me?

This terrible illness is not only demoralizing me but also hampering my progress in school. I get stubborn and miserable and surprisingly, I feel sad longer than happiness. Though I am the first in my class but find it difficult to hit the highest honorable list in my school. My hope to contest the student leadership of the primary division was dashed away because I was hospitalized during the election period.

What am I doing about diabetes?

I am taking my medication and checking my blood sugar regularly. I eat my prescribed diet of green boiled plantain, vegetable salad, chicken and wheat. Then go for checkups regularly. This is very expensive and demanding. Now a one parent child, my mother is really feeling the weight